Gosh there’s been so much happening recently I’ve been struggling to keep up with what’s going on in our ever busy art scene here on the beautiful Isle of Man. We’ve had the Isle of Man Arts Festival at the beginning of May, Islexpo and personally I’ve been busy with opening The Engine House in Castletown (no it’s not a pub, it’s a co-working space focusing on the arts, tech and media sectors). I’ve been dashing around like a mad thing for the last few weeks so have decided to take a break over TT to rest, recharge the batteries and hopefully come back with much more energy to deal with an ever increasing workload. So really what I’m saying is, sorry, there’s no art news for the next couple of weeks but please bear with me as I hope to get back on track in June with my regular weekly updates.

Of course TT is now upon us and the island is alive with bikes and visitors. Thank goodness the sun is shining – let’s hope we get a good fortnight. This is a great time of year to showcase our local arts, crafts and artisan businesses which are so important in marking the island out for its uniqueness. The Fynoderee Distillery is one of the newer local companies which not only produces their own gins (and now vodka) but also uses local talent for their labels. They posted up that they are delighted to be part of the amazing fortnight of live bands, events, great food and drink at Bushy’s from 5pm, Saturday 26th May and will be unveiling their new purpose built ‘Fyn-Bar’ (built by Macro Metals of Ballasalla) in a great location within Bushy’s stunning set up at the Villa Marina. They will have their Spring Edition – Manx Dry Gin with Fever-Tree mixers and a wonderful range of garnishes to suit all tastes – and will also be showcasing their latest addition to the Fyn Family… the new Bumbee Manx Vodka with a tiny touch of pure Manx honey, again with a range of mixers. Recognise the artist? It’s that very talented lady Julia Ashby Smyth. Don’t you just love the bike?!


Staying with TT for a minute, the Keird Collective is going to be part of Bushy’s TT Village 2018. Along with a handful of other independent local businesses, they will be at the Villa Marina for 11 nights from Wednesday, 30 May to Saturday, 9 June, from 5-9pm. I’m quite sure I wouldn’t have the stamina for that but I’m absolutely delighted for them – well done and have lots of fun young people!!

• Illustrated home goods from Alice Rose Fayle Design
• Unique vintage clothing sourced by Flamingo
• Adorable crocheted crafts from Yarny Gráinne
• Live speed portraits from Kim Gee Studio
• Custom plush toys by Quinn Shipton Illustration
• Handmade clothing and cushions created by Reap What You Sew


Alice Quayle has produced this fab new Manx Food picture for DEFA. She said she loves to be asked to do pictures that are ‘a bit useful and a bit fun’, so was very chuffed indeed to be asked by Isle of Man Food and Drink – www.iomfoodanddrink.com to make this picture to help promote Manx Food. It’s just ‘gone live’ ahead of TT and it’s also going to be used at the Agricultural shows and Food Festival too. Let’s hope it helps our fabulous local producers a bit. Oh, is that another bee…? 🙂



Moving to a show off-island, the amazing Stephanie Quayle has created a magnificent group of chimpanzees for Animals & Us which has just opened at Turner Contemporary in Margate. The show runs until Sunday 30 September 2018.

Animals & Us is a major exhibition exploring artists’ reflections on the relationship between humans and other animals.

At a time when scientists warn that humans may be causing the sixth mass extinction on earth, how do we see and relate to other animals? 

Focusing on contemporary and 20th century artists and including historical artworks and artefacts, Animals & Us explores our lives and encounters with animals, and how these have been reflected in art. Animals painted in prehistoric caves were the first subjects of art, reflecting our closeness to them. The artworks in this exhibition explore both our closeness and distance to animals, from our relationships with our pets, to zoos and animals as food. 

Installed across all Turner Contemporary’s first floor galleries, Animals & Us encompasses a wide range of media, from painting and sculpture to video and installation. Drawing on subjects from biology and evolution, to anthropology and technology, it asks questions about how we relate to or differentiate ourselves from other living beings.

Photos by Darren Jackson.

Artists featured: Cory Arcangel, Keith Arnatt, George Bernard Shaw, Joseph Beuys, William Burch, Marc Chagall, Marcus Coates, Mark Dion, Charlotte Dumas, Tracey Emin, Barry Flanagan, Laura Ford, Lucian Freud, Henri Gaudier Brzeska, Conradi Gesneri, Laura Gustafsson & Terike Haapoja, Paul Hazelton, Mishka Henner, Candida Höfer, Andy Holden, Marguerite HumeauKiluanji Kia Henda, Permindar Kaur, Laura Knight, Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, Stephen Melton, Alice Neel, Pablo Picasso, Kananginak Pootoogook, Beatrix Potter, Stephanie Quayle, Paula Rego, Michal Rovner, Khvay Samnang, Roelandt Savery, Raqib Shaw, Ernest Howard Shepard, Maria Sibylla, Shimabuku, Gilbert Soest, George Stubbs, Andy Warhol, William Wegman, JMW Turner.


July has been designated ‘culture month’ for 2018 Year of Our Island and Culture Vannin​ has quite rightly being given the opportunity to help shape it (strongly suggest you follow their Facebook page – there are some really interesting facts on there…. did you know for example that there’s a link between Bram Stoker’s novel, ‘Dracula,’ and the Isle of Man?).

July is already packed full of community events and workshops, so rather than create lots of new events, they are keen to hear from you if you know of anything cultural that they can add into the mix, so that they can help promote it and perhaps encourage people to try something new. The image below shows the starter list, but what is missing? What can be added? If you want to add something cultural to the list for July, get in touch. 

More about 2018 Year of Our Island can be found here: https://www.ourisland.im/


Rebecca Odessa recently posted up this gorgeous new piece of work, ‘EDEN – 12” x 12 hand-cut collage’. I think what caught my attention about this one though is the story which goes with it which I have lifted from Rebecca’s post…

At the southern end of the Sapphire Coast, nestled in Twofold Bay (one of the deepest natural harbours in the world), is a town called Eden. The area has a fascinating whaling history that stretches back millennia. Every year, Baleen whales migrate to and from their breeding grounds, their path cutting directly in front of the bay. At one time, lying in wait were predatory Orcas (from the Latin Orcus, meaning: demons from the underworld) – also known as Killer Whales (despite the fact they are actually dolphins).

Although such behaviour is typical of Orcas the world over, those of the Twofold Bay area were unique, in that they developed a symbiotic relationship with the Katungal (coastal people of the Thaua tribe) who originally lived there. The Orcas would drive Baleen whales into shore, then alert the tribesmen, who would spear and kill the Baleen, leaving the Orcas to feast upon their lips and tongues (a favourite delicacy), taking what was left for themselves once the Orcas had finished. It was a sacred relationship which continued for successive generations; indeed, the Katungal considered the Orcas (whom they called, Beowas) to be ancestors that had returned to provide for the tribe.

When the British arrived and took over the area, setting up whaling stations in and around Twofold Bay, one station-owning family made use of the Katungal relationship with the Beowas; eventually destroying in less than 100 years what it had taken the Katungal thousands of years to develop.


News Shorts


Manos Kalaemnios, a former student of UCM, says he’s very proud to be selected to represent Greece as part of the European Ceramic Context in Denmark this year. 27 countries 51 artists! Well done Manos.


Janet Lees has had one of her beautiful pictures ‘Haunted’ taken at Cregneash featured on ‘Feature Shoot’ in an online article entitled ‘A Trip around the World in 13 Architecture Photos‘. 

Bruno Cavellec has a new show opening at Artreach Studios & The Isle Gallery from 17 June – if it’s anything as good as his last show you’ll need to get to the preview early as there were red dots everywhere!


Dates for your Diary


On now – Bushy’s Exhibition at The Sayle Gallery

On now – 10 June – Magical Island at The Isle Gallery

On now – 17 June – Awakening Art Exhibition – The Methodist Art Collection in the Isle of Man (various locations, see link)

On now – 5 August – ‘Have I Got News for Yessir’ by Phil Woodford at the House of Manannan

On now for a season – Inner Space at Studio 42, Dr Julie Anne Denton

10 June – Exhibition on Screen – Manet Portraying Life at the Erin Arts Centre, 3.00pm – 4.30pm

17 June – ‘Dare the Moon’ by Bruno Cavellec at The Isle Gallery

June – Year of Our Island: “Our Seas and Shores”

July – Year of Our Island: “Culture Month”


Here’s this week’s round up of images from Social Media. Click on the pictures to view in the lightbox.

Have a great week!

Jane x

Keep up-to-date by ‘Liking’ the Facebook Page or by ‘Following’ me on Linkedin or Twitter@manxart or Instagram @manxartdirectory or Pinterest. To get in touch please email: graceandhall@gmail.com


Isle of Man Art News – 28 May 2018

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